The heroic journey of the epic hero known as Herakles continues! Having finished the first eight challenges laid out by King Eurystheus. Is he up to the challenge to continue, or will the King continue to doubt his nature as a demigod? Herakles Book 2 is available now from Lion Forge Press and The Magnetic Collection.

Herakles Book 2 ReviewHERAKLES BOOK 2 REVIEW

Writer: Edouard Cour
Artist: Edouard Cour
Cover: Edouard Cour
Publisher:  Lion Forge Comics
Release Date: January 23, 2019
Cover Price: $19.99

Previously in HERAKLES: After killing his wife and children in a maddened rage caused by his step-mother, Hera, Herakles has been told to go forth and serve penance under King Eurystheus. If he is able to perform the Twelve Labors set by Eurystheus, then he will be granted immortality. Of the Twelve Labours, the first eight have been completed. He killed the Nemean Lion and the Lernaen Hydra. He captured the Ceryneian Hind and the Erymanthian Boar. He cleaned the Agean Stables in a single day, killed the Stymphalian Birds, captured the Cretan Bull and stole the Mares of Diomedes. Now, he must capture the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and steal the cattle of Geryon. But what else does the King have in store for Hercules, and will ever accept that the demigod is possibly his better?

JUST SIT RIGHT BACK AND YOU’LL HERE A TALE…

The storm is in full swing, and four archers let loose a barrage of arrows down upon a ship which is beginning to dock on the mainland, Two of the archers confirm their kills, while a third swears he hit his target, but it did not fall and then disappeared. Before they can act further, the mighty anger of Herakles falls down upon them like the raging tide and kills the assailants. Enraged by the loss of men and the attack on his person, he calls out any additional attackers, challenging them to step out. From the distance, a king stands astride his horse before a great army and demands to know who has brought violence to his land. Herakles responds, and a counselor of the king warns him not to anger the Son of Zeus any further, for Herakles travels with the Sons of Minos, whom the king has sworn to protect. Explaining the attackers where not his men and not under his orders, he offers two of his own to replace the ones Herakles lost, if he leaves with no more violence. Choosing two who did not shrink away when they heard his name, Herakles departs. He soon sets ship at the home of his old friend, Lycus, who has a favor of his own to ask of Herakles. With the Amazons and the three-headed Geryon still ahead of him, will Herakles be able to complete his tasks, or will his step-mother, Hera, force him into a maddened blood-thirsty rage and bring him more pain?

NOT YOUR KEVIN SORBO OR LOU FERRIGNO STYLE HERO

Herakles Book 2 is a product of the French graphic artist Edouard Cour. Cour takes on the legendary myth of Herakles and serves as both the artist and scribe for the series, which spanned three volumes in the original French is brought to us by Lion Forge Press through their publishing arm, The Magnetic Collection. The Magnetic Collection has a history of publishing excellent works that are award winning and outside the norm of the comic industry, and Herakles Book 2 is no exception.

First, let’s talk about Cour as an artist. A trained graphic designer, he has the ability to adopt a variety of artistic styles to suit the project he is working on. A quick perusal of his website shows a range of images from dark and foreboding to light and whimsical. With Herakles, he has taken a varied line, each image changing styles slightly to fit the sequence he is illustrating. In the opening pages of the volume, he illustrates a rainstorm using, I believe but cannot verify, a toned paper, grayscale images, and a white pencil to illustrate the darkness and severity of the storm. It gives the images something of a vintage feel, almost as if they were etching taken from a classical bookplate. In his encounter with the Amazons, the images change and he takes a lighter tone with a pallet primarily consisting of earth tones with a pop of vibrant primary color. When Hera makes an appearance influencing people or Herakles, the images take a much darker, horrific tone with a chaotic line. You know bad things are going to happen. His artwork is expressive and enjoyable, and his style stands out from the herd.

As a writer, Cour has a unique voice. When tackling the classics, many writers want to adopt a very formal and high form of dialogue. You get lots of thee’s and thou’s and such, but Cour takes a different route. Many of the characters speak “properly” and very precise, except Herakles. Herakles voice is very low-brow, and you feel the expression that he is a rougher character than you would expect. Angry and arrogant, he does not want to do these labors but knows that he must to prove his point. That point, in the beginning, is how he is better than everyone else. His hubris, combined with his overbearing nature, makes him a very uncouth character that you actually have a hard time likening. Even when he is being manipulated into horrific actions, he does not give you a lot of reason to feel sorry for him. He is just ornery. You can see that nobility trying to form and there is a spark of greatness starts to shine through, but it is hard to wait for.

BOTTOM LINE: A WONDERFUL TALE WITH A MODERN VOICE

I enjoyed this volume of the tale of Herakles. The use of a modern, very casual voice in the telling is refreshing, but it does take a moment to adjust. At first, it feels as if it is lazy writing, but as you turn the pages and delve into the story and the personas presented, you realize it is a modern telling with classic reference. This is not the high fantasy that so often portrays perfect men and women and implacable heroes, this is closer to low fantasy. There is a dirt nature soaked into the tale, and that is refreshing.

HERAKLES BOOK 2 is a solid and unique entry into the pantheon of Greek tales. Pick it up for the art, stay for the story.

Herakles Book 2

87%
87%
A wonderful tale

I enjoyed this volume of the tale of Herakles. The use of a modern, very casual voice in the telling is refreshing, but it does take a moment to adjust. At first it feels as if it is lazy writing, but as you turn the pages and delve into the story and the personas presented, you realize it is a modern telling with classic references. This is not the high fantasy that so often portrays perfect men and women and implacable heroes, this is closer to low fantasy. There is a dirt nature soaked into the tale, and that is refreshing.

HERAKLES BOOK 2 is a solid and unique entry into the pantheon of Greek tales. Pick it up for the art, stay for the story.

  • Writing
    8
  • Art
    9
  • Coloring
    9
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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